Simple Not Basic

A Post about Food on the EBC Trek Becomes More. Or Is it Less?

There is a difference between basic and simple. Especially when you are traveling.

Recently I posted about accommodation on the EBC trek being basic. A comment from a fellow blogger (thanks Miriam) made me rethink how I had labelled  the accommodation. It is the very fact the Everest Base Camp Trek is basic, makes it so good. Basic can be seen as a negative.  So simple, not basic, is a better word to use. Because it is the simplicity of the EBC trek that makes it so special.

Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp trek
Walking into Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp Trek

The simplicity of the accommodation, the simple food, the every day simple routine. The early to bed, early to rise. Get up, get dressed, eat,  leave. Which way to go? Up or down. Maps to consult? No, not really, there is one path. Just like a pilgrimage, you know where you are going and why. The people you meet, the common quest, the simplicity of the destination but the challenge of getting there make it special. A quest so well rewarded.

No phone calls, television, emails and internet access is limited. All put into perspective in the big landscape or simple path you are on. Up or down.

And yes,  simple meals too. This simple meal below in  simple surroundings is one I remember well. A bowl of hot simple potato soup made with the broth and grated potatoes. A well earned bowl of soup after a hard steep walk out of Namche Bazaar and a 600 metre trek down hill to the river to Phunki Tenga.  Three hours plus of a hard work, it was a meal well earned.  A simple meal, simple surroundings the roar of the river, the sound of the yak bells as the yaks pass. Simple stunning beauty all around.

Potato soup at Phunki Tenga at 3250metres EBC Trek trail

So back to the food, yes the food is simple. But it is good. It is organically grown along the track and cooked in a simple kitchen.

Vegetables growing in the Khumbu

Food in a Namche Bazaar lodge

A meal in Namche Bazaar above.

Potato Soup Nepal

This bowl of potato soup was al fresco at Debouche on the trail down. In a stunning landscape. How much simpler and more beautiful can you get?

December 2013

The umbrellas above,  weren’t the norm. The Sherpa stew was.

Vegetables growing on the EBC Trail

Simple, but addictive. Everest Base Camp Trek too simple to say no.

Need more convincing?  25 Reasons to Trek To Everest Base Camp

Trekking to Everest Base Camp ? Are you up to it?

Pop-Up Restaurant at Everest Base Camp Aims for Peak of Fine Dining

Talk about an “extreme foodies wish Luist”. Would love to know what they all ate. If you could do this where would it be ?

CHINDIA ALERT: You'll be living in their world, very soon

Chefs are trekking thousands of feet to prepare fancy food in the cold

Trekkers pass through a glacier at the Mount Everest base camp, Nepal.

The peaks of fine dining just keep getting higher and higher.

A caravan of roving chefs and their 15 guests is currently making its way up the Himalayas toward the base camp at Mount Everest, where, 17,500 feet above sea level and amid the lashing winds and bone-penetrating chill of the Nepalese winter, food will be served.

The One Star House Party, as the project has been dubbed, is preparing 16 more such destination dining experiences, one a month, through 2018, though not all of the destinations are so extreme. Among the chefs involved is James Sharman, a onetime chef de partie at Noma, the influential, soon-to-close restaurant that put Copenhagen on the global culinary map.

The Nepal journey is costing…

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Climbing to Namche Bazaar

Day Two Phakding to Monjo 2013  and Phakding to Namche Bazaar 2015

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Above is the suspension bridge at Upper Phakding. We stayed at the lodge just above the end of the bridge in the photo on the way back down from our 2013 trek. The bridge on the Everest Base Camp Trek Blog and  my donkey video.

PLANNING THE TREK BY THE SEASONS

When planning our trek for late September we expected some rain. Continue reading

Heading Out for Everest Base Camp – Day One Lukla to Phakding

Walking out of Lukla

trek n.1. a long difficult journey, esp. on foot  2. a journey or stage, esp by ox wagon            3. make a trek  – trekker 

Saying Goodbye in Melbourne

In September 2015 my husband and I flew to Nepal to trek to Everest Base Camp. At the departure hall at Melbourne Airport saying goodbyes to our adult daughters,  the eldest hugged her father and said

                          “Dad, go easy on Mum remember it’s her holiday too.”  She turned                                      to me and said “Mum, ….man up.”

And with that sage advice… Continue reading

To Walk To Hike To Trek

Above Pangboche Everest Base Camp trekClimb Every Mountain

In ate September 2015, my husband aka The Trainer and I flew from Melbourne into Kathmandu to trek to Everest Base Camp. We nearly cancelled the trip because of the earthquakes but had trained so much, we agreed to go. Two years earlier we had gone even though I didn’t  really want to go. We trained hard for the trek, we walked, biked, stepped, climbed, stretched and hiked for six months and, in fact over trained, but we didn’t make it. There is a story there, because we should have and could have made to Everest Base Camp.

In September 2015 we were well and truly prepared to try again.  We had trained for six months  – general fitness then building up to more intense training in the last three months, treadmill, walks, bike rides, stretching, stair training and I guess you could say hiking. I looked up a few definitions of hike.

hike    walk for a long distance, especially across country.
“they hiked across the moors”   synonyms: walk, go on foot, trek, tramp, trudge, traipse, slog, footslog, plod, march

We hiked, I trudged and tramped all over the river area near where we live and all over the hills in our neighbourhood with our trekking gear, boots, packs and my trekking poles. The Trainer refused to use trekking poles.

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This was much to the puzzlement of commuters passing by and to the amusement of hospital patients in their beds looking out the hospital windows onto one of our practicing hills. No sooner did I arrive at the top of the hill than the Trainer pointed back down to the bottom, striding off leaving me resting at the top. I would get to the bottom and he strode back up telling me how many more times he wanted me to go up and down. Each training session he would add a little more water to the bottles in my back pack  slowly increasing the weight. Which brings me to the second definition which resonates with me:

hike – to walk or march a great distance, especially through rural  areas, for pleasure, exercise, military training, or the like.
 Military training! Yes. And most the time it wasn’t pleasurable. I would come home from work  and have a backpack thrown at me and was told to get changed. Rain or shine, out we went. By the time we left for Kathmandu we were training five days a week including week nights. By the last week I was exhausted and near tears when he suggested a final training session.  That was in 2013. Last year I told him what I thought about his idea of training on the fourth or fifth day before we were to fly out.
So Hike I think I know all about it. But I have to say I had never really hiked  or trekked before. So you hike to train for the trek because it is very hard to train for trekking. You experience trekking because trekking supposes some huge challenge and a journey in the big sense of the word, which trekking to Everest Base Camp is. And it is so worth all the training, it is the best thing I have ever done.
EBC Trek Dingboche Ridgetop

At 4200 metres on the Dingboche Ridgetop

Above Pangboche Everest Base Camp trek

Above Pangboche Village

Other posts you may like to read.
An example of our last months training 2015
This post fitted perfectly with the Daily Post word prompt HIKE

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At the Top of Kala Patthar

Video

I made it. I climbed to Kala Patthar the highlight of the Everest Base Camp trek. The video of me reaching the top, breathless and exhausted.

Reminiscing – the Trip of My Life

IMG_1809The Best Travel Adventure

Trekking to Everest Base Camp

I had travelled through the Sahara and been to Timbuktu, seen Iguazu Falls and Rio and lived in Milan and Buenos Aires and was about to go on the trip of my life but I didn’t know it. I sat on the couch with a small pot of expensive lip moisturiser in my hands, crying. Continue reading

What, No Mirror ?

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Yes I agree this is not a brilliant photo. But it is the only one from our Everest Base Camp trek with a reflection. And there were no mirrors either and I could have done with one of those. The EBC Trek equals bad hair days. I’m not sure which is better long hair or short.

Photos of reflections in water are rare on the EBC trek . The rivers are running too fast Continue reading

Bucket Lists and Difficult Journeys

Trekking to Everest Base Camp – Are You Ready?

You don’t need to be an athlete nor a mountain climber.

You don’t have to be seasoned hiker either. For many people who trek to Base Camp it is their first experience of anything like this. I know because I was one of these people.

With Training Everest Base Camp is achievable for the average person

Training before you go is highly recommended. Your training is part of the bigger journey. It certainly was part of mine. The Trainer kept reminding me, you know the quote, the journey is not just about the destination. Oh and the question of age. I’m in my fifties and there were plenty of people older than me on the trail.

Above the yak pastures on the trail to Dingboche.
One of favourite days walking into Dingboche past yak pastures.

If you are healthy, have trained and mentally prepared Everest Base Camp is possible. Continue reading